Category: About Writing

Inconvenient Daughter

Inconvenient Daughter by Lauren Sharkey, Akashic Books will be published on 23 June, 2020. Keep an eye out for it. There are times when I stumble across an unexpected delight, and Lauren Sharkey’s debut novel, Inconvenient Daughter is one of those times. It is short, tightly constructed and strikes a wonderful balance between being easy… Read more »

Some Local Reads

A slew of Hong Kong novels has come my way recently. I’ll take them in chronological order of setting. The World of Suzie Wong is a Hong Kong classic that leapt forth from a library shelf. The novel is a love story, but beautifully executed. Robert Lomax is an artist who checks into the Nam… Read more »

Summer Reading: Two Baghdads, Two Nathaniels and a Song

The joys of passing through airports with bookshops! Hong Kong airport has pretty much banned bookshops – the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t do freedom of speech – but on the way through Dubai I was able to pick up some new books which, along with some old ones gathering dust in our friend’s flat near Lake… Read more »

Remembering Shanghai

As a genre, I tend to avoid the self-published memoir. While they sometimes contain amusing incidents, too many are written by Colonel Blimp types with an instructional message for young men and women seeking the benefits of elder counsel for their improvement, and the rest stretch 20,000 words of content into 80,000 words of waffle. Remembering… Read more »

On My Shelf

I first came across Angela Clarke at last year’s Writers’ Day put on by The Literary Consultancy. She gave a great talk about how she maintains a web presence – tips I have aspired to live up to – but her fiction was a genre I’m not a great fan of so I didn’t, ahem, read… Read more »

Two Must-Reads

Amongst the latest batch of second-hand books I was given were Purple Hibiscus and The Summer Book. These are both about growing up, are both moving and beautifully written, yet the childhoods they depict are polar opposites. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, and Purple Hibiscus, published in 2003, her first book. I have… Read more »

Dark Materials

It has been a long while since I read any new (to me) fantasy. I’ve re-read Lord of the Rings a few times, will probably give Dune a second go at some point and, like millions of others, am waiting for George R. R. Martin to pull his finger out and finish Game of Thrones. But, those… Read more »

Two Books About Hong Kong

Hong Kong Review of Books asked me to review two books on Hong Kong. Here are the reviews for Hong Kong on the Brink and Hong Kong Confidential.